Note: I’m not a certified clinical psychologist,psychiatrist nor psychotherapist. I am a certified NLP Master Practitioner, expert and certified in behavior shifting.This article was inspired by my attempt to commit suicide and unfortunately written because of the untimely death of the talented artist Mac Miller (Malcolm James McCormick).
A driving force behind starting my coaching practice was to be the conduit (I dislike the word ‘suffer’ as it tends to victimize and put someone behind the eight ball from the beginning.) for support to individuals who experience mental and emotional challenges that could potential lead to death. Depression can lead to suicide. Close to 800 000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds. The ill-placed labeling of depression as mild, moderate or severe really get to me. It has the capability of someone experiencing depression being labeled as mild or moderate disregarding it… their family and friends as well. It all starts as mild and if not supported early enough, drug and alcohol-along with other emotional and mentally numbing devices may be used to ‘help’. Depression is depression. When I was going through depression I used alcohol as my courter. Going through Vodka, Rum, Tequila and Gin (I made my own long island ice teas) like water. I don’t know how much money I drank myself through in a month but in its totality I can tell you I could have bought a ticket, hotel accommodation and lived it up in the Maldives. We need places where people can openly talk about depression, suicide, death and dying. These conversation don’t take place or seem pertinent to initiate until someone has killed themselves. Staring them in the face, holding it, feeling it and coming to your own conclusions after an open dialogue will lead to better understanding and alternative ways, besides medications, to help.
Everyone should have a space for this deep work. Despair generally disappears in the light of day but if people aren’t allowed this process and instead locked up, one cannot move through these states. Given such safe places are not available most of the time for most people, many find they have no choice but to choose suppressive means (drugs and hospitals) at this point. We do need to change this status quo if we want to allow for profound growth and healing as well as simple self-determination.I was only able to realize my personal emotional and mental triggers after openly talking about my depression and suicidal thoughts. There isn’t a cure for depression, suicide, suicidal feelings or the desire to die. They are simple emotions and thoughts-only made severe once we place meaning to them. Simple. I say that because everyday life happens and we will be confronted by different things that could ‘trigger’ us. In my experience, it was a matter of knowing those triggers and choosing not be a victim to them that aloud for empowerment. Right now, mostly, we are creating havens in our own private lives. That’s not enough. People everywhere need these safe places so that new possibilities might be made known to people who’ve never even considered options because they’ve never heard of them in contexts that felt safe.We are in the midst of a time where these ideas are beginning to take root. Everyone’s perception of their own reality is important and must be considered seriously and compassionately when we meet them. Respecting those we don’t agree with is also important. Everyone with labels have been traumatized and hearing their experience from their perspective is critical to allowing the healing process.Suicidal thoughts are treated like a crime: that’s why people don’t seek help. School teachers to CEO’s have suicidal thoughts. “A system that criminalizes pain rather than supporting that person with liberation and love doesn’t stimulate the human potential. It’s incomprehensible to lock people up while they’re in their deepest despair. True service: recognizing every human being as peer.A quote that I love and is a catalyst to compassion and understanding-made famous by Maya Angelou but said first by Terence “I am human, and I think nothing human is alien to me.”
Coaching to Cause NOT Symptom – “I tried to kill myself when I was 18. A lot of unresolved early childhood trauma and high school emotional and spiritual dis-growth had flared up. The thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone-not through writing about it nor drawing it. Everything I could think of circled back only to suicide. I won’t go into the horrors of trying to save my life from hanging.It’s time for a new understanding of suicidal feelings, depression, suicide and the desire to die. When really looked at in depth, when someone says they are feeling in one of those ways, it is the symptom. Never the cause. Ask someone what is the cause of feeling that way, it tends to stump them. The cause is what we should be focused on. Understanding the cause-whether is be societal, professional or personal-then the symptom can better be supported and facilitation of action will be better focused. And lead to saving more lives.